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Nepal: Civilians take streets opposing US-funded programme

Nepal: Civilians take streets opposing US-funded programme

Courtesy: Reuters

Kathmandu: In Nepal, police fired tear gas and water cannon on protesters in the capital city who opposed a US-funded infrastructure programme, and the incident has ended up injuring some. The US programme is tabled in the parliament for approval, Reuters reported.

The programme, assisted by Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US government aided agency, agreed to 500 million USD to fund a 300-kilometre electricity transmission line and a road improvement project in Nepal. The government vouched that the grant need not be repaid and has no conditions attached, but the Opposition opposed it, stating that it will destroy the country's laws as well as sovereignty. The legislators would not have sufficient space to oversee the board which implement the project, the Opposition argued.

The government, turning a blind eye towards the objections, tabled the programme before parliament, saying that the project would benefit 24 of 30 million people of Nepal. It claimed in parliament that the fund would enhance the socio-economic development of the country.

However, even the ruling coalition is reportedly divided on accepting the fund.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Nepal described the grant as a gift from the American people and said that it would bring a partnership between the two nations that would bring infrastructure development as well as more job opportunities into the country. But, the decision on whether to take the aid or not ultimately rest on Nepal since it is a sovereign democratic state, it said.

Reuters reports that Nepal relies heavily on foreign investments and donations. Developments in the country are coordinated through Nepal Development Forum, in which donor countries and international financial organisations are members

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